This week, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) celebrates its 33rd anniversary. Inclusive environments have come a long way over the last three decades, and I’d like to think the ADA is what cracked the glass – but there is still more work to do. Today, we’re each tasked with breaking persistent barriers for people with disabilities to help everyone feel like they belong.
One of the best ways we serve our customers is by giving them the flexibility to choose where, when and how they shop. Walmart continues to make progress in creating inclusive shopping experiences, and I’m incredibly proud of our work.
Progress on Products
We have a unique opportunity to help our customers with disabilities access products and services designed with their needs in mind, offered at everyday low prices. The “Adaptive at Walmart” page on Walmart.com curates items from health and wellness, hardlines and back to school products such as:
- Over the counter hearing aids and sound amplifiers so customers can find the best fit to enhance their listening experience.
- Our private brand, Wonder Nation, offers backpacks in fun patterns with straps that allow for the backpack to easily slide on and off a wheelchair handle.
- Adaptive utensils to assist in an independent dining experience.
We’ve been intentional in curating our assortment and working with companies like No Limbits, The Shapes United and How iRoll Sports. This has allowed us to 1.) ensure quality products and 2.) provide designs for the community, by the community.
Belonging Across the Business
Inclusion is a company-wide mindset; Walmart's President’s Inclusion Council comprised of senior leaders identified accessibility as a priority and our inABLE associate resource group, which supports associates with disabilities, launched workstreams to design inclusive shopping experiences. The Accessibility Center of Excellence worked alongside product teams and merchants to secure accessible products. I’m encouraged by the steps we’re taking to ensure our customers feel like they belong. Just this month, we rolled out sensory friendly hours to create a quieter shopping environment that’s more enjoyable for customers who live with sensory disabilities.
We strive for excellence in serving our customers, and it begins with people. Initiatives like this are the product of when we make every effort to listen to our associates and customers. We are an omni-channel retailer and creating accessible stores and online experiences enables us to fulfill our mission of saving people money so they can live better. I look forward to the future ways we can continue to bring inclusive solutions to life so our associates, customers and communities we serve feel and know that they belong.